Do I Need a Pool Safety Fence?

Pool fence

What is a pool fence and why do I need a pool fence?

Congratulations!  You finally got that beautiful swimming pool installed that you’ve dreamed about and talked about for years. The perfect stone and tile, the unique shape, and all the landscaping around it are beautiful. So, when you’re your pool safety fence installation scheduled? 

Is there a law that you have to have a fence around the pool? Well, the answer is yes, maybe. Depending on where your home is located, it may be required by local laws. Most cities are, many states are making it a statewide requirement, but the main reason is that it is the smart thing to do. 

There is nothing better than having a backyard that everyone wants to enjoy. A  backyard swimming pool is fun and relaxing. It is a good place to gather family and friends for casual get together. However, without sufficient safety precautions, that place of fun and relaxation can become a nightmare tragedy.

There are approximately four hundred drownings each year in residential pools as reported by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, and that number is for kids 15 years and younger, with over 65% being children between the  ages of 1 to 3 years old. The number of severe injuries is astronomical, including back and neck injuries resulting in paralysis. Those numbers would drop drastically if pool safety fence installation had been enforced. 

Do I need a fence around my pool if my yard is fenced in?

As reported by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s safety guidelines, a pool safety fence installation is required as a barrier around the pool. The pool safety fence must a height no less than four feet and installed around all sides of the swimming pool with a gate that can be locked when not occupied by adults. 

A barrier fence around the perimeter of a backyard is not considered as a pool safety fence installation but suggested for extra security of the homeowner. The more deterrents you have in place between the outside public, especially unsupervised children, the safer your swimming pool. 

What is the height of a fence around a pool?

There is a joke that no other mammal on earth can run as fast as a toddler when asked “What do you have in your hand?”.  There are no word with great meaning and truth to that – Toddlers are fast, inquisitive, and impulsive. Almost 300 children under the age of five drown in backyard pools every year, the second leading cause of death for children. If homeowners with swimming pools in their backyards would have the pool completely fenced in on all sides with gates that are self-closing and self-latching, that number would drastically be reduced.  

Can a boundary fence be a pool fence?

No, a pool safety fence installation must be a fence no shorter than four feet and no more than four inches from the ground. It must surround the entire pool and have a gate that locks when the pool is not occupied by adults. 

How is a pool fence different from a regular fence?

A pool safety fence installation is for the sole purpose of keeping children and pets out of the pool. They meet the standard minimum height of four feet or higher and are no more than four inches from the ground.  They come with a self-closing and self-latching feature that is high enough up small children can’t operate the latch. 

A regular fence, like the privacy fence you have around the perimeter of your yard, the border fence as some call it, can be made of many different materials and can be almost any height. Nor are the required to be self-closing or self-latching, although that would be ideal for any homeowner.  There may be local building codes that may regulate the height and the material, but state and federal law do not regulate those matters. 

fence along deck of pool area

What kind of fence goes around a pool?

An isolation pool safety fence installation that separates the pool from the yard can reduce the risk of kids drowning by over 80 percent. If 300 children die each year from accidental drowning, that pool safety fence installation would have saved 240 kids. These numbers should give you chills more than the cold water of your pool! 

So, does pool safety fence installation have to be ugly fencing? No! There are many different types of pool fences today and choosing one that matches your home’s architectural style is possible, for example: 

  • A Temporary Fence: Common, durable, lightweight, yet strong enough to keep kids out. It is placed along the edge of the pool with a few feet leeway and can be installed by any homeowner that is handy with DIY projects. Today, you can buy one that has water-filled bases instead of drilling into the concrete around the pool. The pros to this type of pool safety fence installation are the ease to install, it is inexpensive, and won’t take up as much of the perimeter. The Cons of this fencing is the quality may not be as good between brands, the poles are easy to bend down even by children. 
  • A Traditional Fence: This fence is the first line of defense between neighborhood kids and your pool.  This is a more expensive way to fence your pool, but with the options from wood to wrought iron, it could be the backyard decorators’ dream.  What materials does the traditional fence come in? 
  • Metal: Choose from chain link to wrought iron, you’ll be at the lower end of cost for this pool safety fence installation and still have a good quality fence. Metal fencing will be durable and rust-resistant, a great feature around a swimming pool. The pro of metal pool safety fence installation is an easy installation. They can be made more decorative with slates installed in the links of a chain fence and wrought iron is the most decorative. The cons to this type of fencing when you go with a chain link, you lose a decorative backyard. The damaged fence requires a whole section replaced.  
  • Wood: A wooden privacy fence is the most common in neighborhoods around the country. They have various patterns and styles, isn’t that expensive to have installed a professional or DIY project. The pros of this type of fencing are it meets the guidelines set by the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission and with the solid format of board-next-to-board, children can’t slip through. This is a durable material and will give you years of longevity, painted or stained.  The drawback to the wooden fence as a pool safety fence installation, they require upkeep, boards and post need replacing from time-to-time, and if the ground around your property is uneven, installation is a problem. 
  • Vinyl: This type of pool safety fence installation will look a lot like a wooden fence, but is low-maintenance. The pros to this type of fence are the low maintenance, it is aesthetically pleasing with any architectural style home, and has a lifespan of 30 years or longer.  The cons are the cost, cementing the posts are required, and repairs are not cheap.
  • Glass: A luxury pool safety fence installation, and expensive, must be installed by a professional, the maintenance is ongoing, and the repairs are expensive. The pros of this fencing are the beauty and durability and allow your pool to be the showcase of your backyard.  

On Pool Safety Fence Installation

No matter what style and type of swimming pool fence you choose, the best safety for kids around a swimming poos is an attentive adult. Keep your eyes on the kids at all times, save your phone, and reading for another time. If you feel you can’t watch multiple children at one time, enlist help or cancel the swimming pool activity. Need a pool fence installation in Crowley and Fort Worth, TX? Call 817-948-4503 today.